Pubdate: Thu, 10 Dec 2009
Source: Times Daily (Florence, AL)
Copyright: 2009 Times Daily
Author: Dennis Sherer, Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (Women)


TUSCUMBIA - With tears streaming down her face, Amanda Helaine Borden
Kimbrough pleaded guilty Wednesday to chemical endangerment of a child
for causing the death of her son in 2008 by using methamphetamine
three days before he was born.

Immediately after accepting the guilty plea, Colbert Circuit Court
Judge Jackie Hatcher sentenced Kimbrough to 10 years in prison, which
was part of the agreement with prosecutors.

Had she been convicted of the charge, Kimbrough, 30, of Russellville,
could have been sentenced to life in prison.

The plea agreement came as the defense was to begin calling its

Defense attorney Rebecca Green Thomason said she and Kimbrough feared
Kimbrough would be found guilty and receive a lengthy prison sentence
if the trial had continued.

"She had admitted she did drugs, and the baby died," Thomason said.
"That would have been tough to overcome."

Timmy Wayne Kimbrough lived 19 minutes after being born April 29,

Thomason filed notice of appeal Wednesday. Among her grounds for
appealing Kimbrough's case is that the Alabama's child endangerment
law does not apply to unborn children.

"The citizens of Alabama are finally going to get a clarification by
the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Supreme Court of Alabama or even
the United States Supreme Court on this law as to how it applies to
unborn children," she said.

Colbert District Attorney Bryce Graham Jr. said Kimbrough is the first
woman in Alabama to plead guilty to chemical endangerment of a child
for causing the death of an infant by using illegal drugs.

Assistant Colbert County District Attorney Angela Hulsey, who was lead
prosecutor, said she expects Kimbrough's appeal to be denied. Hulsey
said evidence presented during the trial shows the child was born
alive and that his death was caused by Kimbrough's drug use.

Dr. Holly Johnson, a former Sheffield pediatrician who now lives in
Birmingham, testified Tuesday that the baby was born prematurely. She
testified the fetus was 24 to 25 weeks old when it was born.

The defense claimed the child was born prematurely because he had Down

Dr. Emily Ward, a state medical examiner who testified Wednesday, said
the child died of acute methamphetamine intoxication.

Amanda Simpson, a social worker for the Alabama Department of Human
Resources' Colbert County office, testified that Kimbrough told her
she had used methamphetamine three days before her son was born.
Simpson added Kimbrough said it was the only time she used meth during
her pregnancy.

Hulsey said she is satisfied with the guilty plea and pleased the
trial began so she and Chief Assistant District Attorney Kyle Brown
could present the state's evidence to the jury.

"I'm glad we got to tell Timmy's story," she said. "We got to be
Timmy's voice to the jury."

Brown said Ward's testimony that the child died of meth intoxication
was strong evidence against Kimbrough.

Graham said the case against the mother was strong.

"We felt like the evidence was overwhelming," he said. "Hopefully this
guilty plea will help deter other women from abusing drugs while they
are pregnant."

Kimbrough will remain free on bail of $250,000 while her case is being
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